Mad Deer/CWD In
Alberta And Big Horn
Basin, Wyoming
From Patricia Doyle, PhD
A mule deer killed by a hunter near Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary was infected with CWD bringing the total in Alberta to 5. Another mule deer was CWD infected taken through the cull program in Sept 2005.
The total CWD cases in Saskatchewan is now a high count of 80.
Also note that both articles come with the same phrase:
"There is no scientific evidence to suggest CWD can affect humans. But, as a precaution, the World Health Organization advises against humans consuming products from animals infected with any sort of prion disease."
If people can't read between the lines in this doubletalk, God help them. -ed
From ProMed Mail
Mule Deer Killed By Hunter Found To Have CWD
A mule deer killed by a hunter near the Alberta-Saskatchewan boundary was infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD). Government veterinarians say the deer was shot about 15 km south of Empress, near Medicine Hat, in September 2005.
It's the 1st case of CWD turned in by a hunter this year [2005], and the 4th detected in Alberta. The other deer with CWD were detected after organized culls in the same vicinity. Saskatchewan has recorded 80 cases of CWD.
Like mad cow disease in cattle, CWD affects the infected animal's central nervous system, causing it to lose weight and slowly waste away. The Alberta government said in its release that "there is no scientific evidence to suggest CWD can affect humans". But, as a precaution, the World Health Organization advises against humans consuming products from animals infected with any sort of prion disease.
(It is actually the 5th affected deer found in Alberta. In September 2005, we reported a "very thin" wild mule deer about 30 km south east of Oyen, which, on culling, was shown to have CWD. Previously, there had been 3 cases of CWD found in game-farmed animals in Alberta, and in Saskatchewan, 68 cases in wild deer and a substantial number of elk found on game farms. Thank you, Sylvia. - ProMed Mod.MHJ)
Chronic Wasting Disease Increasingly Found In Big Horn Basin
Associated Press
CHEYENNE -- The state Game and Fish Department has found seven new cases of chronic wasting disease among mule deer in the Big Horn Basin.
The department first found the disease in the area in 2003 in two deer killed by hunters, but tests of more than 500 deer killed by hunters and department personnel last year turned up no new cases, according to department spokesman Dennie Hammer.
With this year's cases, Hammer said, nine deer have tested positive out of 1,800 basin deer that have been tested over the last three years.
"We're always concerned with diseases in wildlife. This is one that's been around for some time, but it's just now being discovered in the Big Horn Basin area," he said.
The deer tested were taken roughly between Worland and Thermopolis. He said the department planned to kill and test another 22 deer south of Thermopolis beginning this week.
Although chronic wasting disease has been known in southeastern Wyoming and in Colorado for years, Hammer said the department doesn't know if the recent findings show a new influx of the disease into north-central Wyoming or if the disease has been there all along, undetected.
Much of the state's information about the disease comes from hunters who submit their deer to the game department for sampling and testing. Hammer said continued public participation is essential to tracking the spread of the disease.
"At the present time, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that chronic wasting disease has any effect on humans," Hammer said. "It's a disease of wildlife, and that's where our concern lies."
However, Hammer said the World Health Organization has recommended against eating meat of animals suffering from any form of spongiform encephalopathy -- a group of diseases which includes both chronic wasting disease in wildlife and mad cow disease, a disease of cattle which can spread to humans who eat meat from infected animals. Chronic wasting disease was first recognized in 1967 in Colorado.
Hammer said the state contacts hunters whose animals test positive for chronic wasting disease. He said the decision whether to eat the meat is up to them.
As part of the department's efforts to stop the spread of the disease, Hammer said the department this year instituted a new regulation that requires hunters either to bone out their animal and leave the bones in the field or to dispose of the bones in an approved landfill after processing.
In addition, the game department has considered calling for stricter laws to discourage people from feeding deer. Concentrating animals around feeders may help the disease to spread.
Copyright © 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Patricia A. Doyle, DVM, PhD- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
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